“Say you love me,” Mr. Husband said. He had been drinking vodka, the good kind, and had been menacing me all night. Earlier he was snapping me with a washcloth while folding clothes.
“You’re too hostile right now,” I said. “Leave me alone.” When the Girlie is in bed we don’t have to censor ourselves. I am nicer when she’s awake because I don’t think she would understand how we can be completely cross with each other one minute, and have it completely forgotten the next. Her little brow gets all frowny. I wonder if she will ever see this dimension of our relationship or if it will stay private, meaning it will be what she hears only when she is spying on us.
“Say you love me, right now.”
“Bleah,” I said, and stuck out my tongue. I am a sucky wife.
He leaned in and I could smell the spoiled boozy smell on him. He retains smells longer than I do; we can have the same garlicky meal and he will still smell like it twelve hours after I do.
He leaned on me and the book I was holding flipped out of my hands. I had been unsuccessfully trying to read all night and he had been interupting me to tell me that if Hillary Clinton ran for president he’d vote for her, and if Bill ran again he’d vote for him in a minute and was that even legal?
He opened his mouth and bit down on my neck, hard. If you hold still and let all the muscles and tendons relax it hurts less. He told me to say that I love him again, out of the corners of his mouth and through his teeth.
“Ow,” I said without much feeling. “You’re hurting me.”
“Ray oo rup mif,” he said, and tightened his jaw more.
“I don’t like this. You’re a menace.”
After another thirty seconds he gave up.
“Dammit,” he said.
“I would have let you bite all the way through before I said it.” My neck hurt but I was glad.
“I know,” he said. “You are so stubborn. It’s awesome.”
“No, it’s not,” I said. “It’s stupid.” I picked up my book and he went back to watching stupid Hillary Clinton get interviewed by stupid Barbara Walters.
It is almost one and I can’t sleep. I wonder how long it would take him to wake up if I tried to fill his nostrils with toothpaste?